SIMPLEFAST – Cursed EP
This young Greek quintet (age range 18-21) sent me their debut 6 track "Cursed" EP unsolicited to my in box – so kudos for taking the initiative gentlemen. Simplefast play a semi-thrash brand of heavy metal, definitely more so on the melodic and classic side than anything overly speedy. Drummer Stratos Midelias flexes a lot of his double bass chops and snare/fill tricks a la Scott Travis of Judas Priest on "Metal Fury" and the title cut. The guitar playing has a lot of classic qualities as if the band members spent a lot of time studying 80’s iconic acts like Iron Maiden and Dio, but also adding in the sophistication and angst of Metallica at times.
The main struggle for full on recommendation of Simplefast lies at the melodic nature of vocalist Phil Roussos. When he tries to reach for a high note, he doesn’t ascend smoothly, and can be a tad pitchy (to quote a favorite American Idol judge Randy Jackson). Listen to the mid-tempo "Game of Fate", especially when he chooses to follow the riffs, and you’ll hear the awkwardness unfold before your ears. Maybe once he gets more seasoning under his voice (and possibly a touch more training), things will improve – but for now a more melodic hard rock offering such as "I Won’t Cry" suits his range much better than anything in the Halford/Dickinson stratosphere.
Possessing youth on their side, my hope is that Simplefast take the constructive criticism to heart- because they do have a lot of basic metal tricks of the trade down, along with more than adequate playing ability at their respective instruments. They will have to up their game on their forthcoming full-length album if they hope to make more of an international splash- let’s see if they are up to the task.